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Roy Moore’s Democratic Challenger Surges Ahead in New Poll — Thanks to Women

2 minute read

While Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore has remained defiant amid a controversy over allegations of sexual misconduct, a Fox News poll released Thursday showed his support has dropped significantly in recent days.

Moore trails Democrat Doug Jones by 8 points among likely voters in the upcoming Dec. 12 Alabama special election, according to the poll, with 50% saying they would vote for Jones and 42% saying they would vote for Moore.

Moore appears to have lost a significant amount of support from women voters. In the Fox News poll, Jones led Moore among likely women voters 58% to 32%. Among all registered voters in the poll, women had a similar split, going 56% for Jones to 33% for Moore.

These numbers represent a stark change from an Oct. 17 Fox News poll, which was conducted before the Washington Post reported that four women accused Moore of pursuing them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. In the October poll, the two candidates were tied at 42% and registered women voters were largely split on the candidates as well: 43% said they would vote for Jones at the time, while 41% favored Moore.

The new poll included 823 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3% and was conducted Nov. 13-15, starting four days after the Post report. A fifth accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, also spoke out on Nov. 13 alleging that Moore assaulted her when she was 16. Another woman, Tina Johnson, said Wednesday that Moore groped her in his office in 1991.

Likely voters not only slowed down on their support for Moore in this poll, but they also showed less enthusiasm for the possibility of voting for Luther Strange, who currently holds the seat and who Moore beat in the Republican primary earlier this fall. Some have talked about writing in Strange’s name on Dec. 12, but likely voters favored Jones to Strange 48% to 38% in the poll.

Other recent polls had shown Moore and Jones neck-and-neck, but a poll from the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm this week also showed Jones up by 12 points.

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Write to Abigail Abrams at abigail.abrams@time.com